Real Madrid dominated 10-man Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday, taking a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio. Chelsea struggled to cope as the reigning champions and record 14-time winners put in an impressive performance.
Real Madrid defeats Chelsea in Champions League quarterfinals
Ben Chilwell’s red card in the second half made Frank Lampard’s side even more difficult to pull down Rodrygo Goes as he ran through on goal. After 21 minutes, Benzema scored from close range after Kepa Arrizabalaga tipped a Vinicius Junior effort into his path. Despite dominating the game, Madrid had to wait until the 74th minute for their second goal, which was scored by Asensio from the edge of the box following a short corner routine.
Carlo Ancelotti relied on experienced midfielders Toni Kroos and Luka Modric to dictate play. While Lampard immediately inserted Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante due to injury concerns. Kante shone against Real Madrid in the 2021 semifinals. He was one of Lampard’s few bright spots in this game, slipping Joao Felix through on goal early on. Benzema, who scored a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge last season and scored the game-winning goal in the second leg against Chelsea, was a constant threat throughout.
Madrid fans rallied behind Fede Valverde, who was accused of punching Villarreal’s Alex Baena on Saturday, and the midfielder nearly rewarded them with a piledriver that flew just wide. Chelsea struggled to create chances after their early chances and struggled to build attacks. Early in the second half, Modric came close to scoring.
But his curling effort hit the roof of the net. Chilwell’s dismissal made it difficult for the Blues, and Asensio’s goal made it even more difficult. Madrid could have added to their lead late, but Benzema shot wide in stoppage time. Mason Mount was denied a consolation goal for Chelsea thanks to a good block by Antonio Rudiger. The two teams will play again on Tuesday, with the winner facing Manchester City or Bayern Munich in the semifinals.